Christmas in Devon 2020 – brilliant festive family events
The Christmas count down is on! I may be biased but Christmas in Devon is wonderful and I can’t wait for it to arrive again. So, in preparation for this festive season, I’ve pulled together what I think is a pretty comprehensive guide to what’s on in Devon in December 2020.
Please note that many events are still to be confirmed and are subject to change in 2020. This post will be updated as announcements are made about what’s on in Devon this December.
Christmas in Devon: the ultimate guide for families
Grab your Santa hats and prepare your waistline for mince pies aplenty as Devon gets set for Christmas.
Below you’ll discover everything there is currently to know about where to meet Santa, Devon Christmas markets, pantomimes, Santa steam trains in Devon, illuminations, decorated National Trust houses and oodles of festive cheer.
Here’s what Christmas in Devon looks like in 2020 so far…
Pantomimes in Devon this December
The show must go on! Here’s the Devon theatres putting on Christmas pantomimes in 2020 to 2021:
Cinderella at Princess Theatre in Torquay
The ultimate fairytale is being performed at the Princess Theatre in Torquay this Christmas. Join in the pantomime fun at Devon’s largest theatre between December and January.
Princess Theatre, Torquay, 11 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. Book online.
Jack and the bean stalk at Palace Theatre Paignton
Will Jack succeed in rescuing the Princess from the scary giant? Find out with the pantomime team at Palace Theatre this December and January.
Palace Theatre Paignton, 20 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. Book online.
Cinderella at Queens Theatre, Barnstaple
Cinderella will go to the ball, and you can join her this Christmas in Barnstaple.
Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, 11 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. Book online.
Aladdin at Theatre Royal Plymouth
Join Aladdin and his friends for a magic carpet ride in Plymouth.
Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 18 December 2020 to 6 January 2021. Book online.
Where to meet Santa in Devon
If Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see Santa, then here’s where to find Father Christmas in Devon in 2020:
Sail with Santa and Stuart Line Cruises
Meet Santa on the River Exe this Christmas by hopping onboard a Stuart Line Cruises. There will be face painting, magic and balloon modelling as well as all the usual festive fun on this very special grotto ride. For adults there will be commentary about the river, mulled wine and mince pies.
Sail with Santa, Exmouth, selected dates between 5 December and 23 December 2020. Book online.
Christmas events at Devon attractions
Devon’s attractions put on a great show at Christmas with special events and displays during the festive season. Here’s what’s on in Devon this December:
Have a Victorian Christmas at Bygones
Bygones in Torquay is laying on the full historical experience throughout December complete with Victorian decorations, a 12ft tree and a festival hunt.
Santa will also be arriving on the Bygones Express! Visit him a week early in his grotto for a £3.50 per child or book a special breakfast or lunch with Santa. Contact Bygones for more information.
Bygones, Torquay, 1 to 31 December 2020. Additional charges apply to come activities.
Santa in the Caves, Kents Cavern
Visitors to Britain’s oldest ancient monument will be able to meet Santa and some special friends in the caves this December.
There’s an hour long underground pantomime, gifts from Santa for the children as well as mulled wine and mince pies for the adults.
Kents Cavern, Torquay, 5 to 24 December 2020. Special prices apply. Book online.
Clovelly Christmas lights
Carolling will accompany the switching on of the Christmas lights at this unique fishing village on the North Devon coast. There will also festive refreshments, a visit by Father Christmas and a firework finale at Clovelly Village.
The event is in aid of the RNLI.
Clovelly Village, Bideford, 6 December 2020. Parking charge applies.
Santa trains in Devon
All aboard for a Santa experience on wheels. Here’s the Santa trains and Polar Express rides coming to Devon at Christmas in 2020:
Train of Lights with Dartmouth Steam Railway
In December 2020, board the iconic Train of Lights for an award-winning ride through the South Devon countryside. As well as a trip on this charming Devon steam railway, you’ll be treated to displays of thousands of glittering lights along the route and at the stations.
Please note that The Santa Express, also run by Dartmouth Steam Railway each Christmas, is unlikely to run in 2020. However, a final decision is yet to be made.
Dartmouth Stream Railway Train of Lights, Paignton, selected dates between 2 and 30 December 2020. Special prices apply. Book online.
Polar Express at South Devon Railway
Join the Polar Express at Buckfastleigh Station for a Christmas experience unlike any other. From the steam strain to the all-singing, all-dancing cast, come and see for yourself why the Polar Express Train Ride is so special.
South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, selected dates from 27 to 23 December 2020. Book online.
The Polar Express Tram Ride, Seaton Tramway
Join the Polar Express single deck tram for a journey to the ‘North Pole’ including hot chocolate, cookies and a meeting with Santa and his elves. There’s even a gift for the children.
Your journey along the Seaton Tramway track and through the North Pole itself takes at least two hours so is a full on immersive experience that children and adults will love.
Seaton Tramway, Seaton. Selected dates between 27 November and 24 December 2020. Special prices apply. Book online.
Santa Specials at Lynton and Barnstable Railway
Hop on the Santa Special from Woody Bay Station for a two mile festive journey along the Lynton and Barnstable Railway line. Children will get to meet Father Christmas and receive a personalised present.
Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, Lynton, selected dates from 12 to 24 December 2020. Book online.
Illuminations in Devon
Light up your winter days in Devon with a visit to these festive illuminations:
Illuminate Festival at Royal William Yard
Illuminate Festival lights up Plymouth’s Royal William Yard with projection mapping, playful light art installations, joyous performances and a myriad of opportunities to engage, participate and make.
The event will close the curtailed Mayflower 400 commemorations in Plymouth which connected the city with the partner destinations across the UK and internationally.
It’s a free event and that we also visited a few years ago. Check out our favourite bits in the video below:
Find out more about Plymouth’s link to the Mayflower and our visit to Illuminate Plymouth 2019.
Illuminate Festival, Royal William Yard, 26 to 29 November 2020.
What’s on at National Trust properties in Devon this Christmas
National Trust properties in Devon are yet to confirm whether they will be holding Christmas events in 2020. Watch this space!
Devon Christmas markets and fairs
Details are still to be released about the annual Christmas markets and fairs in Devon. Watch this space!
Phew, that a lot there is going on this Christmas in Devon! What takes your fancy? I’m sure there’s events I’ve missed so please do get in touch if you think something should be added.
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